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Monday, January 22, 2018



Sacked Rear Admiral Vic Mercado defends Bong Go from Rappler's accusations

January 22, 2018 - God’s goodness made flesh

Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children 

Mark 3:22-30

The scribes who had come from Jerusalem said of Jesus, “He is possessed by Beelzebul,” and “By the prince of demons he drives out demons.” Summoning them, he began to speak to them in parables, "How can Satan drive out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand; that is the end of him. But no one can enter a strong man’s house to plunder his property unless he first ties up the strong man. Then he can plunder his house. Amen, I say to you, all sins and all blasphemies that people utter will be forgiven them. But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an everlasting sin." For they had said, "He has an unclean spirit."

Introductory Prayer: Lord, I believe that you are the source of all goodness. I know that your goodness is both a challenge and a promise. I trust that your goodness will envelop me if I allow myself to be found by you. I love you for wanting to fight the battle against evil for my sake.

Petition: Lord, help me not to be afraid of the battle against evil.

1. Not Indifferent: With Jesus on earth, another world becomes evident around us: the world of evil spirits. Jesus has come to take control of the kingdom. The devils are in a panic and begin to lose ground. Jesus is a threat to evil. His goodness, truth and holiness are capable of putting the devils into submission. When Christ takes a stronger hold on my life, things begin to change. Do I let Christ challenge evil in my heart? In the world around me?

2. Not One of Them  Jesus brings change: But change is not evil per se. The change that Jesus brings is good, since he comes to put demons in their place, bringing about good. This awakening of the good worries the devil. The conquest over evil is not always done in peace and tranquility. Does the spiritual opposition I face as I try to overcome evil in my life cause me to hesitate in the fight or to wish that Jesus and his teachings would not be so demanding? Do I realize that facing difficulties is a sign of growth in Christian authenticity? Do I let the goodness of Christ radically define my life? Even in the face of opposition?

3. Only Good: Think of the joy that people experienced when Jesus freed them from the power of the Evil One. Think of the joy we feel after making a good confession, attending a good retreat or progressing in virtue. Jesus comes into our life to bring the joy of freedom from evil. He is God’s goodness made flesh. Do I rejoice to have Christ as my friend? Do I try to listen to his teachings with a willing heart, thankful for the chance I have to abide in God’s heart by living the life of grace? What an amazing friend I have! I can trust in his power to lead me along the path of life.

Conversation with Christ: Christ, I know that you are more powerful than evil. Help me to face up to evil in my life, encouraged by your friendship and strength. In your name Lord, I will walk with confidence.

Resolution: I will do something to share my faith with others today.

Today It’s Rappler, Tomorrow It’s You

A classic case of a government-instigated press clampdown.
Yesterday, a Monday, seemed to be a “slow news day” until a shocking news caught the entire country by surprise.
No, it is not the unexpected and forced resignation of Commission on Higher Education (CHED) chair Patricia Licuanan. Licuanan, appointed by former president Noynoy “PNoy” Aquino and whose term of office will supposedly end on July of this year, cut short her chairmanship of CHED after receiving a call from Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea last weekend asking her to quit apparently upon orders from President Rodrigo Dutere.
The news that shocked the nation yesterday is the decision of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to shutdown online news agency Rappler.
In a decision ordering the revocation of Rappler’s license to operate, SEC ruled that the agency is “liable for violating the constitutional and statutory Foreign Equity Restrictions in Mass Media enforceable through rules and laws within the mandate of the Commission.” The said restriction requires 100 percent Filipino ownership of mass media.
However, despite the adverse decision, Rappler remained defiant and said that it will continue bringing the news, “holding the powerful to account for their actions and decisions, calling attention to government lapses that disempower the disadvantaged.”
“We will hold the line,” Rappler added.
For now, we will not attempt to discuss the complex legal technicalities of the issues involved because, for sure, Rappler will not take the SEC decision sitting down and will use all available remedies to question the ruling. It has fifteen days from receipt of the decision to elevate the case to the Court of Appeals (CA).
What is worthy to mention here is the real reason why the government of Duterte is hell-bent on silencing Rappler which has published articles highly critical of the administration.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, we are directly putting the blame on this latest attack on the constitutional right to free press and freedom of expression to the president himself and his minions.
Malacanang cannot claim that the administration has nothing to do with the SEC decision as it was the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) who asked as early as December 2016 the official corporate regulator to investigate Rappler and Rappler Holdings Corporation for possible violation of the constitutional provision on foreign ownership.
Moreover, Duterte has publicly denounced Rappler on numerous occasions for being American-owned.
Sociologist Herbie Docena was absolutely correct about the motive behind the shutting down of Rappler.
“Because it is one of the remaining media organizations that asks the questions that Duterte does not want asked, report the news that Duterte does not want reported, and air the views that Duterte would rather suppress.”
Docena's Post
“In short: because it is one of the few remaining obstacles that stand in the way of Duterte’s gradually emerging dictatorial regime,” Docena quipped.
We couldn’t agree more.
In our previous article, we lamented how the constitution and the rule of law had died in 2017. We cited the political persecution of Sen Leila de Lima and other opposition figures and the harassment and repression of the heads of independent constitutional institutions.
Rappler’s clampdown is just another Marcosian way of the Duterte despotic regime to stifle dissent, kill intelligent and democratic debate, discourse and exchange of ideas and install a one-man rule.
“The shutdown of Rappler is a win for fake news, and a loss for dissenting voices and free speech,” opposition senator Bam Aquino said.
This recent phenomenon reminded us of the famous Martin Niemoller quote.
Niemoller's post
Lawyer, acclaimed international debater and social media influencer Jesus Falcis made a witty, spot-on adaptation of the Niemoller quote, to wit:
Faclis' post
We are undeniably under attack. The Filipino people, our institutions, our values, our rights and freedoms.
Without even noticing it, we will just wake up one day with balls and chains.
Today it’s Rappler. Tomorrow it can be anyone from us. Speak up, speak out.

REKLAMO ANG MGA LP DAHIL SA UST AWARD NI MOCHA USON' #KanTalk with Thinking Pinoy and Sass Sasot

Jover Laurio and her former call centre employer may have violated Australian privacy laws

According to the latest Western media feature, “popular” Filipino blogger Jover Laurio worked for an Australian call centre before her rise to “fame” as blogger and “thought leader” of the Philippine Opposition. This is particularly relevant to me as Laurio had some time ago used information she had somehow obtained about my private residence and even telephone number to issue threats against me. Indeed, the information seems to have been shared with many of her followers and allies in social media as the information was presented to me as part of veiled threats many times over the years.
It is likely that the call centre Laurio works for serves Australian incumbent telecommunications company Telstra. I recall that some of the threats she and her cohorts addressed to me made reference to telephone bills. If this is the case, Telstra should investigate whether Australian privacy laws had been violated both by Laurio and her former employer in the course of obtaining and distributing my private information.
Australian Privacy Principle (APP) 6 of the Australian Privacy Act 1988 prohibits an entity from “using or disclosing personal information for a purpose other than the purpose for which it was collected, unless the individual consents, the individual would reasonably expect their personal information to be used for the secondary purpose, or another prescribed exception applies.” Furthermore, APP 8 stipulates…
If an APP entity is to disclose personal information to an overseas recipient, APP 8 requires it to take reasonable steps to ensure the recipient does not breach the APPs. This usually requires the APP entity to impose contractual obligations on the recipient.
Relevantly, if the overseas recipient does breach the APPs, the Privacy Act imposes liability on the APP entity that made the overseas disclosure.
Jover Laurio may be in possession of information about some people that could have been acquired through illegal means.
This means there is opportunity to investigate possible breaches of privacy from Australia as a business entity based in Australia that had transmitted private information of its Australian clients to an overseas subsidiary or contractor — such as, in this case, a call centre operator to which it outsourced some of its operations — could be held liable for said breach.
Much had already been written with regard to the hypocrisy surrounding the way the Philippine Opposition had propped up Laurio as a “hero” in a so-called fight against an imagined tyrannical Philippine government. The fact is, however, even though much had been written about Laurio herself, there is scant material to be found about the actual content that she publsihes on her much-vauntedPinoy Ako Blog (PAB) itself — except for one noted blogger, Katrina Stuart Santiago, who actually took the time to mount a critical evaluation of Laurio’s work on PAB. In her piece, State of blogging, microblogging, media #crisis, Stuart-Santiago writes how “anyone who even spends time reading through Laurio’s site would find that she employs exactly the same tools, the same tone, the same kabastusan [crassness] that we find offensive in the DDS microblogs and fake news-propaganda sites.” She goes further to write about Laurio’s intellectual dishonesty on exhibit in her work published on PAB…
Laurio has entries that are but a series of questions dripping with malice and insinuations that are based on unnamed sources; she calls out Duterte officials and ends by saying versions of: “Sana hindi po ito totoo …” or “Kung mali ako …” Both these strategies are used by Duterte propagandists. These are no different from Asec Mocha using the world “allegedly” when she used to make her baseless accusations (she’s been very careful to keep from doing that of late), and ending her criticism of Liberal Party Senators, or mainstream media, with “Nagtatanong lang po!”
And on Laurio’s being the foremost celebrated Resibo Queen (a reference to the screencaps she uses as “proof” for her “fact checks” in her “fight” against “fake news”), Stuart Santiago is dismissive…
Laurio does not hyperlink to her sources — something that RJ Nieto (one of her favorite nemesis) actually takes seriously — and I’ve caught her often enough leaching off other Facebook pages’ content and passing the content off as her own. She then gets comments like “ang talas talaga ng mata mo Pab!” Yet the same information was posted on the Facebook page of We Are Collective days before she even put it on her blog.
It is quite rich that no less than the New York Times would toe the Philippine Liberal Party line by featuring her as a “hero” on their illustrious pages and website. Laurio, like her idol Rappler CEO Maria Ressa is a fake hero. Their prowess with playing the Victim Card no longer fools Filipinos. Unfortunately, they had succeeded at fooling the editors of the New York Times. For its part, the Times seems to have succumbed to the temptation presented by a juicy story without applying basic journalistic rigour, like taking into account alternative sources on the matter of Laurio’s new-found public profile. This latest piece is notable for an absence of the points of view of supporters of the incumbent Duterte government. Now that is being a hypocrite.

About benign0

benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.